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We Need a Hero: Six Epic Films

“Let me not then die ingloriously and without a struggle, but let me first do some great thing that shall be told among men hereafter.” ― Homer, the Iliad

The epic comes to us from the birth of storytelling and gives us archetypal heroes such as Gilgamesh and Hua Mulan. These long narratives give us the chance to know characters deeply, and the episodes of their lives can become intimate and satisfying through the bard’s voice, the written page, or the screen. In troubled times, immersion in an epic story can serve as an escape from the mundane, a bulwark against an arduous reality, and a guide to dealing with formidable challenges.

Epic films are among the most appealing and celebrated in the history of cinema; their large budgets move powerful characters through lavish spectacles of history and adventure. This year the Auteur Film Series will explore six epic films and will be exclusively online for the first time.

All films are free to students, faculty, and staff to stream individually at any time via the Collin College libraries. Some material may not be suitable for all audiences. For each film, we will have an online discussion forum featuring faculty panelists.

Links to stream the films and forums for the online discussions are available within a college-wide Canvas "course" created for the film series. Use this LINK, then simply click the "Enroll" button that appears to gain access to the course. The course will be placed on your Canvas Dashboard,  where it will remain available throughout the academic year.

This series supports the college’s core values of learning, creativity and innovation, and service and involvement by engaging students through film and discussion.

online discussion Sept. 14-18. 2020
(PG-13, 2012, dir. Gary Ross, 142 minutes)
A young woman takes part in a televised competition in which contestants are forced to fight to the death.
Presented in conjunction with The Texas Center for Working-Class Studies

online discussion Oct. 12-16, 2020
(R, 1993, dir. Steven Spielberg, 195 minutes)
Businessman Oscar Schindler employs over a thousand Jewish refugees during World War II, saving them from the Nazis.

online discussion Nov. 16-20, 2020
(PG, 1983, dir. Philip Kaufman, 193 minutes)
Story of a group of top military pilots, seven of whom become the first American astronauts.

online discussion Feb. 8-12, 2021
(PG-13, 1985, dir. Steven Spielberg, 154 minutes)
Helped by her daughter-in-law and her husband’s mistress, Celie Harris triumphs over sexual and racial abuse in the early twentieth-century South.
Presented in conjunction with African American History Month

online discussion Mar. 29-Apr. 2, 2021
(PG, 1982, dir. Richard Attenborough, 191 minutes)
A remarkable lawyer leads a movement of nonviolent civil disobedience and religious tolerance, ending British rule in India.

online discussion Apr. 26-30, 2021
(PG1-13, 1990, dir. Kevin Costner, 236 minutes)
A Civil War veteran is posted on the Western frontier where he comes to admire and respect his Sioux neighbors.

Collin College District map

Plano Campus
2800 E. Spring Creek Parkway, Plano

Frisco Campus
9700 Wade Blvd., Frisco

McKinney Campus
2200 W. University Drive, McKinney

Angelika Film Center
The Shops at Legacy, 7205 Bishop Rd., Plano

The Auteur Film Series is supported by the Academic Affairs Division at Collin College.